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Your Body After The Birth- Explained!

After pregnancy, your body can go through as many changes as it went through during the pregnancy. Some of those changes can be permanent while some might take a considerable amount of time to heal. Whatever postpartum changes you go through, never shy away from asking any questions about your body changes to your doctor or midwife. You can visit Cocoon Hospitals, offering premium birthing in Jaipur, and discuss body changes after birth in detail. Not all mothers experience these changes but here are some common body changes:

Mental Health

Due to the hormonal changes, it is normal to feel emotional after birth. You may experience baby blues. They start a week after birth and end when the baby is around ten days old. You may also feel easily irritable, overwhelmed, or crying for no reason. Do not hesitate to reach out to your doctor and loved ones for help.

Sex Drive

New mothers often undergo a fall in their sex drive. With taking care of the baby, your healing body, and your family, women seldom have time to think about their sexual needs. Estrogen levels rise during pregnancy and fall after birth; this lowers the sex drive. However, they do shoot up over time.

There is no guidebook for when you should start having sex but if you feel tired and sore, do not push yourself. However, if your partner has different levels of sexual desire, this can add some stress to your relationship. Whatever is the case, communicating about it can help. Talk to your doctor about any specific concerns.

Bleeding

Women endure heavy vaginal bleeding post-birth. This will continue for a few weeks and stop on its own gradually. Doctors recommend using sanitary pads for the time being and not any other feminine hygiene products as they can increase the chances of an infection. If your blood consists of larger clots than usual, consult your doctor.

Stitches

If you underwent episiotomy, a slight surgical cut to make the opening of the vagina wider, in a normal delivery labour room, you might have stitches. In the majority of the cases, these stitches disappear as the cut heals but a few cases require having them taken out. Doctors recommend bathing daily to avoid any infection. You should consult your doctor if you feel uneasiness or soreness in these stitches.

First Milk

Shortly after birth, a new mother’s breast produces Colostrum. It is a yellow fluid-like concentrated food for your newborn. After 3-4 days, new mothers often notice their breasts feeling comparatively fuller. This is because they have started producing milk and are ready to feed. The amount of milk a mother produces depends upon the baby’s requirements. Your body takes a few days to strike an equilibrium between your baby’s needs and your milk production. If your breast feels too engorged and painful, try taking warm baths and feeding the baby more often.

Hair Loss

The increased amounts of hormones released during pregnancy can make your skin glowing and your hair shining. After birth, your hair goes back to being its old self, which can make one think they are losing hair. Hormonal changes, such as high estrogen levels during pregnancy keep your hair from falling at its normal frequency.

New mothers shed more hair during the 3-4 months post-delivery, but it all goes back to being normal within 6-12 months.

Going To The Toilet

The first time you pee after birth can be a sore experience as it feels slightly stingy. If you are not able to pee, try taking a warm bath. If you smell a weird odour or if there is little too much pain in or around your vagina, tell this to your doctor.

Getting constipated is also common after birth but it isn’t as hassle-free. To avoid this condition, drink 6-8 glasses of water per day and incorporate lots of veggies and fruits into your diet. If you still get constipation, laxatives might help.

Post-Pregnancy Belly

Unlike celebrity mums who claim to have ‘got their body back,’ your belly does not go back that fast. After birth, the uterus takes 6-8 weeks to return to its size before the pregnancy. Only exercise and  healthy diet are great ways to get your body in shape. Note that consulting your doctors about the former is highly recommended. Core exercises focusing on the belly help greatly, but your genetics play a huge role as well.

Your Perception Of Your Body

Given how much we worship the societal standards of a ‘perfect body,’ many women develop negative feelings about their post-birth physique. The pressure to look like you never had a baby is real but the fact that everyone’s body is different is just as real. Whether had a vaginal or cesarean delivery, the body heals at a different rate and responds differently to various exercises or activities. Every new mother has a different lifestyle. Some have people with them who can offer support, some don’t. Some have too many responsibilities, some don’t. Thus, a comparison is not the key.

As this is the time of your healing, you should focus on your physical and mental health and not on your appearance. Meditation coupled with gentle exercises such as walking and stretching (not the rigorous stretches) can be a good start.